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PhD Studentship in Cancer Immunology, Department of Surgery, School of Medicine, UCC

Details: This PhD studentship will contribute to the funded research project Here, this research will develop ways to grow a type of immune cell known as a Vδ1 γδ T cell from blood of any healthy donor, which could be given to any colorectal cancer patient, preventing the return/spread of cancer after surgery.

The development of this protocol will benefit from information on individual cells taken from the colorectal cancer primary tumour and metastatic lesions to understand what makes a more resilient Vδ1 cell capable of killing cancer cells in the body. This research has the potential to develop an enhanced Vδ1 cellular immunotherapy in combination with surgery, for delivery into the tumour excision site to prevent colorectal cancer recurrence and metastasis.

This PhD scholarship starts in September 2023 covering doctoral programme tuition fees and an annual stipend of €18,500 per year, tenable for a maximum of 4 years (subject to satisfactory progress in studies each year). You will be provided with access to funding to attend relevant academic conferences and workshops to support your development.

Standard Duties and Responsibilities of the Post:

Key duties and responsibilities:

  • The PhD candidate will conduct a specified programme of research under the supervision of Dr Cathriona Foley.

  • Interdisciplinary interactions with collaborators in CUH, UCC, nationally and internationally will be required.

Additional tasks will include:

  • The dissemination of results at conferences and through scientific articles.

  • Attendance at postgraduate training courses.

  • Regular reporting of research data.

  • Involvement in Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) activities.

Qualifications & Candidate Profile

  • Potential applicants should have a 1st class honours degree (BSc) or Masters (MSc) in immunology, biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology, oncology or equivalent area, research experience is desirable.

  • Highly motivated, detail orientated and committed with a keen interest in creative and multidisciplinary research.

  • Excellent communication, organisation, interpersonal skills and the ability to work within a project team are essential.

  • A record of peer-reviewed journal publications is advantageous but not essential.

  • Some research experience undertaking laboratory experiments and clinical sample collection is advantageous but not essential.

To apply:

To apply you must complete the application form here: Application Form

The Department of Surgery Lab & Research Group encourages applications from minorities and under-represented groups

Further Information for Applicants:

For informal enquiries on the post, candidates should contact Dr Cathriona Foley


Research Profile Link: Here

Link to the position on the UCC HR Research Website: HERE

Applicants whose first language is not English must show evidence of English proficiency (e.g. IELTS minimum 6.5, individual sections 6.0), please check the requirements at: Evidence of English Proficiency

PhD Learning Environment and Support: The College of Medicine and Health Graduate Studies provide postgraduate skills development support and research funding and travel bursary opportunities. PhD students develop essential research and leadership skills within this vibrant scholarly community (CoMH Graduate Studies). A supervisory team approach will be taken which means you will have a minimum of two suitably qualified and experienced UCC academic scholars.

The Department of Surgery has a long and outstanding tradition of postgraduate education with a strong research emphasis on basic science, clinical and translational research. The department’s dedicated research laboratories are in the UCC Research Facility on the campus of Cork University Hospital. The hospital is located within walking distance of the main UCC campus.


The closing date for this PhD application is 5pm on the 31st July 2023.


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